"What we know about God is important, but what we do with what we know about God is even more important." Richard Rohr
As the church, we are called together by God to worship, share in Christian fellowship, and experience God's love for us. But God also sends us back into the world to share that love with others and to actively work for the healing, reconciliation, justice and peace that God intends for this world.
Our church actively supports the following outreach ministries. For more information about any of these ministries, please contact the Congregational Church of Austin.
University Area Micah 6
The Congregational Church of Austin is an active member of the University Area Micah 6 Ministry, through which the University area churches serve the needs of low-income and homeless people. Congregational Church members serve on the Micah 6 Board of Directors and the Micah 6 food pantry.
LifeWorks Street Outreach
Our church hosts the LifeWorks Street Outreach Drop-In Center and Medical Clinic. From our building, LifeWorks provides a variety of social work and medical services to area homeless youth.
Freeze Night Cold Weather Shelter
When the temperature dips below freezing we open our doors to homeless youth and provide them with an evening meal, a place to sleep, and a morning meal. Trained volunteers from our church work with staff from the LifeWorks Street Outreach program to maintain a safe environment during shelter evenings.
Front Porch Ministry
On the first and third Thursday of the month, church members prepare and serve a lunch to homeless youth in our fellowship hall prior to the opening of the LifeWorks medical clinic housed in our church building.
Christmas Open Door Meal
On Christmas Day the Congregational Church of Austin celebrates Jesus' birth with a brief communion service in our sanctuary and then opens its doors to anyone who would like to enter our dining room for a Christmas meal of ham, turkey, stuffing, vegetables, and desserts. In the past few years, we have served 65 to 80 people on Christmas day.
Sunday Food Offering
Sharing food was one of the primary ways Jesus communicated God's love to all people. Please bring some non-perishable food items (preferably pop-top cans, vegetables, and soup) to share with others when you join us for worship on Sunday mornings. The food you offer will be given to the LifeWorks Street Outreach Drop-In Center.
Worker's Defense Project
The Worker's Defense Project educates immigrant workers about their legal rights in this country and helps workers recover their stolen wages when employers do not pay them for work performed. Rev. Tom VandeStadt currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Worker's Defense Project.
Equal Justice Center
The Equal Justice Center teaches a legal clinic to law students on worker's legal rights, and offers a number of programs to help low-wage workers defend their workplace rights and recover stolen wages when employers do not pay them for work performed.
United Church of Christ Child Sponsorship
The Congregational Church of Austin participates in the United Church of Christ Global Ministry's Child Sponsorship Program by sponsoring a girl named Hala Mahmoud who attends the Rawdat El Zuhar school in East Jerusalem. Our church is using the child sponsorship ministry as an opportunity to support the United Church of Christ's ministry in East Jerusalem, and to learn more about the religious, political, economic, and social issues in East Jerusalem.
Members of the Congregational Church of Austin participate in the Annual Crop Walk to raise money for local and international hunger relief services. Crop Walk funds assist the Micah 6 Ministry to which our church belongs.
Back Bay Mission, Biloxi Mississippi
The Congregational Church of Austin provides annual financial support to Back Bay Mission in Biloxi, Mississippi, and the Rev. Tom VandeStadt currently serves on the Board of Directors of Back Bay Mission. Back Bay Mission is a leader in economic development, affordable housing construction, and hands-on Christian work camp ministry on the Gulf Coast.
The Congregational Church of Austin supports Equal Exchange, an organization that purchases coffee, cocoa, and tea directly from coops around the world at fair and just prices, and then sells it directly to consumers. We sell Equal Exchange products once a month in our fellowship hall after worship.
The Care Communities
The Care Communities provides basic care and assistance to people living with a terminal disease, and our church has a four member "care team" that provides such support. Members of our church sponsor other church members who participate in the annual Ride for Aids, a cycling fundraiser that supports The Care Communities
The Congregational Church of Austin supports Texas Impact, a faith-based legislative advocacy organization that supports justice and sound environmental stewardship policies on the state level. Our church has hosted and participated in a number of Texas Impact events.
Calvert Social Investment Fund
The Congregational Church of Austin invests in the Calvert Social Investment Fund, a micro-lending agency that provides low-interest credit to people in the United States and the developing world.